March 2, 2009

The Jai Ho effect

Slumdog Millionaire and the Oscars for AR Rahman seem to have sparked an interest for Indian music in the West again!

This post at Boing-Boing informs us that last week Putumayo has released a compilation of music by various Indian musicians ...

 Images Recordings 30P Putu288-1 ... And while it does feature two tracks from Bollywood star composer AR Rahman (Slumdog's Oscar-winning musical director), the collection also includes lounge music, folk, classical, and of course high-energy Indian indie pop.

Btw, the video at the link above features Kiran Ahluwalia, who is one of the singers featured in this album. I have not heard of Kiran Ahluwalia before. (In fact, I am kinda surprised she's the face of this India music compilation ad (video at the link below). It just may be that she's the most easily accessible artist for the ad, being based in Canada.)

Anyways, this seems like a collection worth buying! Has an interesting array ofmusics:

Track Listings

1. Zara Zara - Bombay Jayshree
2. Khwaab - Niraj Chag featuring Swati Natekar
3. Naino Sey - Sanjay Divecha featuring Kailash Kher
4. Shiva Panchakshara Stotram/Shiva Shadakshara Stotram - Uma Mohan
5. Homeward Journey - Satish Vyas
6. Tere Bina - A.R. Rahman & Chinmayee
7. Nagumomo - Susheela Raman
8. Ganesha - Deepak Ram
9. Vo Kuch - Kiran Ahluwalia
10. Maavan Te Tiyan - Rajeshwari Sachdev

Btw, I have heard Susheela Raman before ... the first time being on PRI's The World on NPR some years back. I thought she was pretty good....that dusky voice somehow haunting and alluring, despite the Western accented lyrics in some pieces distracting from the music itself. For example, hear this song - Salt Rain 'Maya':

Lots of other videos on youtube, including this one with Cheb Mami... one of my favorite raï singers.

You may recall Cheb Mami from his haunting voice in Sting's Desert Rose... but the stuff from Cheb Mami that I like includes: Neli Neli, Le Rai Cest Chic, etc. [I have a tape somewhere of his music that I used to listen to all the time in the 1998-2002 period.]

btw, just FYI... in case you are not familiar with him or his music - his name is not Cheb! Singers of raï are called cheb (shabb, young) as opposed to sheikh (shaykh, old). In fact, Khaled (who had become quite famous in India in the 90s with his song Didi is also actually called Cheb Khalid.

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